A child sobbed many years ago. You’ll want to know what happened next.
This is a “reblog” from “Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom” – only I’ve changed this to reflect my sons and how I truly feel / felt about them every single day…
While my sons are both grown, I remember these moments as though they occurred only this morning. I’ve encountered those times when I’ve missed the little person they were, so much so, that I mistook that longing for wishing I were around little children again. Should I become a kindergarten school teacher? I would think to myself, after remembering and feeling sad over my little guy who is now grown up… or I wonder when my oldest will marry and have kids? But no… I was missing the littleness that was them. That little creature that crawled or walked around and astounded me with his brilliance. So, when my child sobbed so many years ago, it was something like THIS that happened next. And to you my lovely boys – this is for you:
“But I wanted you to hold my hand!” he said through streaming tears, close to hysterics.
I had walked down the stairs from our living room to our dining room one morning after waking him up. I can’t remember a morning that he didn’t insist on walking down each step himself, even though my hand was always offered.
Yet, today, in my haste to start the day by opening the window shade and getting our breakfasts ready, I did not offer it. And today, he wanted my hand.
In a very uncharacteristic gesture by my almost 3 year old, he climbed into my arms. His face wet with tears. His voice unable to catch its breath from the emotion of it all. And in a very uncharacteristic gesture by my almost 3 year old, he let me hold him, comfort him.
For what seemed like a blissful eternity, I rocked my little boy back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. His small koala body clung to mine, legs around my torso, arms around my neck. I stroked his fine hair and held him close.
What he doesn’t know is that I’d hold him every day just like this. He could ask me anytime, anywhere, and I would drop whatever I was doing to take him up into my arms and feel his warm little heart beating next to mine.
What he doesn’t know is that I live for his laugh, his smile. The tinkle of his happy voice in my ears is enough to bring blue skies to a cloudy day. When the corners of his mouth turn up with joy, my heart skitters into a thousand butterflies fluttering though a green meadow. I want to take away anything that makes him sad. I never want him to know pain, if it takes away that smile.
What he doesn’t know is that after an atrocious day full of tantrums and harsh words, when I count down the minutes until bedtime, I miss him when he’s asleep. If I knew it wouldn’t wake him (and it undoubtedly would), I would crawl into his room just to peek at him sleeping. For a child so full of energy and life and passion during the day, he is surprisingly relaxed and at peace when he dreams. And though I may not be fully prepared for what the next day will bring, I am secretly excited for morning so we can meet again.
What he doesn’t know is that I hate myself for the ways I fail him. The impatient clucking, the loud snap of my voice, the wrong choice of cleaning my kitchen when I could have been reading him a book. I pray he will not lack anything because of my faults and insecurities. And I hope one day he will see all the ways I worked on myself just to be better for him.
What he doesn’t know, what he couldn’t possibly know, is how deep my love runs for him. It courses through my veins. There is nothing I would not do, no thing I would not give up, for him. I know now, in a way I could not have known before I knew him, that love like this cannot dry up like a dusty river bed. It can only grow stronger, a raging river, with an endless source. It would be impossible to not love him.
What he doesn’t know is that as time goes by, he will grow up. Toy trucks and blocks will be traded for cell phones and real cars. I will spend the years grasping for him as he runs ahead, finding the delicate balance between holding on without holding him back. I know he will grow up. And he will be beautiful and confident and wonderful. And I will miss his littleness.
One day I will look back and wonder why I thought it was so hard, oh so long ago, to raise this child. And I will vow to myself that if I had the chance, I would do it all over again. Every minute.
So today, I hold this little babe, rocking him back and forth, back and forth. I do not take for granted this moment of prolonged comfort: I snuggle him into my neck, breathe in his scent, and lock the memory of him deep in my heart.
Because what he doesn’t know is that, no matter how many years go by, no matter how old he grows, he will always be my precious little boy.